Access, Participation and Sustainable Development Goal 4: A Systematic Literature Review of Technical and Vocational Education and Training
Recent technological advancements, demographical changes, and international migrations have compounded the social, political, and economic challenges confronting most nations. These global changes demand the education and formation of youths with specific skill sets who can work and adapt to the challenges of the 21st-century workplace. Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is recognized for its pivotal role in addressing the concerns emanating from these 21st-century developments. Research has suggested that TVET contributes to sustained economic growth and development, reduces societal inequalities, and enables a sustainable future. Within the context of the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), TVET occupies an increasingly prominent place. This review of the scholarly and grey literature explored the rationale behind the resurgence of TVET globally and examined the present state of, and issues and concerns with, the expansion of TVET within the global and Canadian contexts. Findings show that economic, social justice and sustainability rationales account for the renaissance of TVET. Also, both the Canadian and global literature suggest a continued stratification of access to and participation in TVET for students from different sociodemographic groups (e.g., socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, geography). The study found that cultural, religious, institutional, and historical factors affect the participation of students from diverse social backgrounds to TVET. My research also identified attractiveness (status) and funding as the primary issues hindering the utilization of TVET potential in addressing societal challenges from a global as well as the Canadian context.